The Open Broadcasting Unit Presents........ WHAT THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION DID FOR US Presented by Dan Cruickshank New six part series starting on Tuesday 7th October BBC TWO at 8.00pm Academic Consultants: Chris Bissell, Technology James Bruce, Science Alun Davies, Arts There is also a final programme in the Industrial Season on Tuesday 18th November "Industrial Roadshow" from Ironbridge in Shropshire with Adam Hart Davis ************* Also visit The Industrial Revolution site on www.open2.net to find out about the many special BBC and OU events that are being run across the country in association with the BBC's Industrial Season. *********** From boiling a kettle to working in an office, much of our modern world is shaped by the achievements of the Industrial Revolution. History viewers recently voted this as their second favourite subject (after Ancient Egypt) and now OU/BBC-2 are giving them a new series, What the Industrial Revolution did for us, beginning on 7th October, BBC Two at 8pm. Presented by architectural historian Dan Cruickshank, the programmes uncover the scientific, technological and political changes of the 19th century that have transformed the lives of every man and woman in Britain. The series is also supported by a TV public event at Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire, birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Hosted by Adam Hart-Davis, this event will see viewers involved in competitions as they build and restore Industrial Revolution devices and take part in hilarious experiments. Programme one, Material World, examines some of the key figures responsible for discovering some of the remarkable processes that created the modern global economy: * Ironmonger Thomas Newcomen, who's Newcomen Engine made mining possible. * Scientists William Smith, who discovered how to predict where coal deposits lay and in the process produced the world's first geological maps, and Sir Joseph Banks, the brilliant botanist who set sail with Captain Cook on the Endeavour looking for plants that could contribute to material wealth. In Cruickshank's telling, many discoveries revolve around the close-to-home story of the Great British Cuppa: the huge public appetite for tea. From its importing, the utensils to make and serve it and the power to heat it all symbolise Britain's drive to exploit its world. Programme two focuses on Working Wonders. In 1804, when the Frenchman J M Jacquard created his self- portrait with a series of holed cards he had no idea he'd just laid the basis for our modern-day computer programmes. In the 21st century most people's experiences of working life are crowded cities, machine-driven factories, the nine-to-five office and the crush of the rush-hour. The rat race began when the industrialists of the 18th century decided that people had to move out to where the machines were.
Programme three, On the Move, begins with roads and goes on to canals and the mighty steam locomotives of Trevithick and Stephenson. The programme looks at the amazing characters and developments that shaped the transport network of the country, and reveals the extraordinary achievement of George Cayley, who flew his coachman in his prototype aeroplane 100 years before the Wright Brothers took to the air. Up until the mid-18th century you had a better chance of survival if you chose not to visit a doctor. In Programme four, Modern Medicine, we discover how the revolutionary thinking of the industrial age led doctors to use tests, anatomical evidence and clinical trials for the first time to create effective cures. We meet men such as William Withering, who created the first modern drug after an encounter with a gypsy and a strange plant called digitalis (foxglove) with the power to heal ailing hearts. Throughout the Industrial Revolution Britain was almost continually at war. The industrial revolution demanded a revolution in warfare, because industry relied on the army and navy to secure its materials and markets overseas. Programme five, War Machine, looks at one of the bloodiest and most inventive periods in Britain's history. Rockets, submarines, machine guns, camouflage and even the modest tin food can - from the horrors of battle came discoveries and inventions that still shape the way we fight - and live today. In programme six, City Living, we see how urban lifestyles were born. England's new middle-class had money to spend. In London Thomas Cubitt built brand new Georgian terraces for them, with the unheard-of luxury of built-in plumbing. Josiah Wedgwood took original artwork and inspiration from Classical vases to mass produce pottery - and then put his wares in enticing shop windows. With the birth of mass newspaper printing and therefore advertising and the creation of home catalogues, this is where our modern aspiring lifestyles was born. Programme seven culminates in a great roadshow at Ironbridge Gorge Museums, where Adam Hart-Davies sets the challenge to all would-be scientists, inventors, engineers and model-makers, aged from 5 to 95 beginners, families, enthusiasts and experts alike. Adam is looking for viewers to recreate a working model (if possible) of a machine that helped to drive the Industrial Revolution. For more information please contact Polly Frazer on 01908 652777 or mailto:[email protected]